|Was||Politician Diplomat Financial professional Banker|
|Birth||23 January 1912, Nagano, Japan|
|Death||26 November 2000, Tokyo, Japan (aged 88 years)|
|Politics||Liberal Democratic Party|
Zentaro Kosaka (小坂 善太郎, Kosaka Zentarō, 23 January 1912 – 26 November 2000) was a Japanese politician who served as foreign minister for two times and as labor minister.
Early life and education
Hailed from Nagano Prefecture, Kosaka was born into a politician family in 1912. His grandfather, Zennosuke Kosaka, was the founder of the daily Shinano Mainichi and a politician. His father, Junzo Kosaka, was also a politician. His younger brother, Tokusaburo Kosaka, was a leading politician of the Liberal Democratic Party. Zentaro Kosaka was a graduate of Tokyo University of Commerce (present-day Hitotsubashi University).
After graduation, Kosaka began his career at the Mitsubishi Bank. Then he worked for Shin-Etsu Chemical that was established by his father, Junzo Kosaka. Later he joined the Liberal Democratic Party. He was part of the faction headed by Hayato Ikeda.
Kosaka first became a member of the House of Representatives in 1946, being a representative for the Nagano Prefecture. He served at the lower house 16 times and held different ministerial post. On 6 September 1960, Kosaka visited Seoul, being the first Japanese official to visit South Korea since 1945. He was appointed labor minister in the Yoshida Cabinet, foreign minister in the cabinets of Hayato Ikeda and Takeo Miki. His first term as foreign minister was from 8 December 1960 to 18 July 1962.
In August 1966, Kosaka and Yoshimi Furui headed an eight-member LDP delegation to visit China. They both held the views of right-conservatism, arguing for Japan's independence from the US and normalized relations with China. After the visit, Kosaka developed a policy report, called the Kosaka Report, which was submitted to the LDP's policy affairs research council.
In 1968, Kosaka stated his desire to visit Mongolia to search for the viability of economic assistance towards the country. In 1970, Kosaka argued that Japan should declare a "no-war" notice in order to reduce tensions between Japan and China. He was also the head of political affairs research committee in the LDP during the same period. He also served as the head of economic planning agency during the term of the then Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka. On 24 July 1972, Tanaka also appointed him as chairman of the newly founded Council for the normalization of Japan-China relations in the LDP. The task of the council that consisted of 312 members was to reach a consensus, since the pro-Taiwan and pro-Peking factions over the whole peace treaty issue emerged in the party. IN September 1972, Kosaka visited Pekin as special envoy of the prime minister Tanaka. Then Kosaka served as deputy prime minister and visited Libya in January 1974.
Kosaka was secondly appointed foreign minister in 1976. In 1976, he called for a reform of the UN security council at the UN general assembly. At the beginning of the 1980s, he served as the chairman of the LDP's foreign affairs research council. Kosaka retired from politics in 1990.
Personal life and legacy
Kosaka's son, Kenji Kosaka, is a LDP politician and former minister of education. Kosaka participated his son's election campaign for the lower house in the Nagano district in 1990.
The Chinese restaurant of Okura Hotel in Tokyo was named by Kosaka.
Kosaka died of renal failure in Tokyo on 26 November 2000. He was 88.